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It’s a Crazy Time in Tech (as Usual)

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'Innovation' street sign, Silicon Valley, California, USAPhotograph by Bruce T. Brown—Getty Images

Do you ever have days where nothing feels quite right, where down is up and up is down and everything else feels like it’s going sideways?

Consider some of the news of the day:

* Atlassian (TEAM), a collaboration software company that’s worth $5.5 billion and has perhaps $700 million in unprofitable annualized revenue, is buying Trello. That young company, which Forbes reported last year had annual-ish sales of $10 million, fetched $425 million from Atlassian. That’s a very good outcome for the venture capitalists who put a total of $10 million into Trello as well as for its employees. (Trello makes an online task-assignment program; Fortune uses it.) Can that crazy valuation ever work out for Atlassian? The price tag calls to mind the $400 million Apple paid for NeXT two decades ago. That was money well-spent. In other words, crazier things have happened.

* Speaking of Apple (AAPL), it celebrated the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the iPhone Monday with an anniversary website. Jon Steinberg, a smart guy who runs a newfangled video news network with a silly name, pointed out to me that Steve Jobs was relentlessly forward-looking and would have scoffed at Apple’s nostalgia. I told him to cut Apple some slack considering its accomplishment. But maybe he’s right. (Cheddar TV, by the way, is pretty cool. I appeared on it Monday via Skype via my iPhone. How crazy is that?)

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* Speaking of silly names, Yahoo (YHOO) says its post-Verizon-sale stub will be known as Altaba, a mashup of “alternative” and “Alibaba,” the Chinese Internet company that makes up the bulk of its valuation. Altaba seems to be competing with tronc (formerly Tribune Publishing) for worst corporate name ever. As a security with two assets, however (the other is Yahoo Japan), at least Altaba isn’t a real company.

* And speaking of Alibaba, its founder, Jack Ma, visited President-elect Donald Trump Monday in New York. The incoming president has been projecting toughness with China lately, prompting the Chinese state-owned media to suggest he lay off the tweeting. Trump proclaimed Ma a “great entrepreneur.”

Have a sane day.